Significantly intertwined with the history of yoga, prayerful meditation (otherwise known as brahman) derived from mantra meditation. Vedic Seers would seek a state of higher understanding and illumination through prayerful meditation, hoping to escape the limits of the rational mind. Combined with ritual ceremony (karman), recital of sacred words (mantra), and breathing control, prayerful meditation leads the partaker to a state of incandescence known as tapas (an old Sanskrit word meaning both "heat" and "ardor," employed to represent the blazing heat of the sun as well as the inner heat created by intense spiritual practice and asceticism). The Vedic tapas is known as Yoga.
So originally, PM was a way for prophets to clear their minds, and achieve new realization. Nowadays, people still meditate in largely the same fashion. Prayerful Meditation involves reading a sacred verse or prayer out loud and then silently contemplating it as a form of meditation. This sort of meditation is also used often to contemplate religious sermons and teachings. The Epiphany Center recommends the following order of contemplation to achieve higher understanding. Read the piece aloud four times, each time focusing on a different aspect of its message. The first time you read, take notice of which words in speak to you, and have significant importance. Second, describe the personal meaning of the passage(s) in a few words, make a summary of sorts. After the third reading, say a prayer evinced to you from the reading. Finally, the Epiphany Center recommends that you contemplate the reading and sit quietly in God's presence.
As with other forms of meditation, scientific research into the effects of prayerful meditation on body functions seems to show that it has a largely positive effect on emotions, stress management, health, and overall wellbeing. In a study of college age adults, those who meditated on a regular basis over a period of one semester showed no signs of muscle and joint ache, lower dependence on tranquilizers and “street drugs” to lower anxiety, and a higher general self esteem.